Friday, July 31, 2015

Blues at The Gazebo

As a modest sized gathering relaxed upon the lawn of The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain in Delaware Water Gap, PA on Sunday July 26th to enjoy another installment of their Summer Gazebo Concert Series, The SheilaMark Band explored a number of sound checks which allowed the intricacies of their musical instruments to sound every note out with all their nuanced qualities in tact. It was as the final adjustments were made did Annemarie Burka Locilento take the stage to welcome all who were present and to introduce the band. Anticipation grew among the gathering as the first notes of the concert was about to be revealed.

The SheilaMark Band consists of Spencer Reed on Guitar, Dean Rickard on Drums, Mark Hamza on Organ and Accordion, and Sheila Stratton-Hamza on Vocals. Together, the blending of exceptional musical skills brought a gentle cadence to the concert which was only displaced by the lively melodies the group would occasionally employ. There were even times when the band created a metaphysical air through their performance which became quite pronounced when they preformed the song titled, “Comfortably Numb” which appears on The Pink Floyd's 1979 Album “The Wall.” The lazy in and out weaving of the song's stanzas mirrored the mood the lyrics aspired to perfectly while the combination of Ms. Stratton-Hamza's powerful voice and the instrumental explorations of the musicians recaptured the operatic origins of the song that has, unfortunately, been lacking in several covered versions of the work in recent years.

The SheilaMark Band varied musical repertoire ranges from some great, classic blues to uniquely soulful interpretations of recently released songs. They have performed in a variety of venues including the Community Concert series at The Shawnee Inn and resort in Shawnee on Delaware, PA, the Home Grown Concert Series on WVIA (NPR) Radio in Pittston, PA, and at the Celebration for the Arts (COTA) Arts and Jazz Festival in Delaware Water Gap, PA. You can learn more about SheilaMark by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Summer Gazebo Concert Series at The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain began in 1990 and is presented every Sunday evening throughout the Summer months until the end of August in order to support the local musicians and provide a venue where all ages could learn to appreciate Jazz and acoustic music. In reflection of Delaware Water Gap, PA being considered a Mecca for the Jazz community, the concerts has a great number of Jazz performances in their schedule. However, all musical styles are showcased during the summer which includes Blue Grass and Classical Music. The next installment in The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Summer Gazebo Concert Series for 2015 is scheduled for Sunday August 2
nd and will present Camp Jazz featuring the participants of the Celebration of the Arts Summer Camp for aspiring Jazz Musicians. The concert is free to the public and begins at 6pm. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Sheila Mark Band concert at The Blues at The Gazebo Gallery at

According to their website, The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain is “… a community of disciples illuminated by God’s love who care for others spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially as we explore new avenues of grace and grow in faith through worship and service.” In an endeavor to manifest the goals of this statement, they hold weekly services every Sunday beginning at 10am, provide a hostel for those hikers who travel along the Appalachian Trail as well as holding a Hikers’ Dinner every Thursday evening throughout the Summer Months to replenish their energies. They also support the Kenyan village of Amilo by providing a school feeding program for 15 orphans, a well, housing, and simple medical care and information to the villagers and the church shares a partnership with the Reformed Church located in Cardenaz, Cuba. In addition to all this, they support the local Fire Company and Women’s Resources Center as well as provide community aid funds for residents who are suffering economic burdens. The size of the congregation is approximately 200 people. Please Explore The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain Facebook Page at or their Website at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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